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Second Letter Home from Prison Camp

On November 7, 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States, an unprecedented fourth term in office.

Two days later, on November 9, and far away from home and family in the states, George Edwin Farrar was still a patient in the hospital of Stalag Luft IV,  a subsidiary camp of Stalag Luft III.  It was now forty-two days after the mid-air collision between the Lead Banana and Lazy Daisy.  This day, Farrar wrote his second letter home.  This letter was postmarked January 17, 1945, and was marked with the date when the Farrar family in Atlanta, Georgia received it – March 23, 1945.

From the time of its writing, this letter took 134 days to reach its destination.  Farrar’s situation by that time was much different from the day he penned that letter.  In late November 1944, he had been moved from the hospital into a barracks in the prison camp.  In his own words, Farrar described his condition at the time of his placement in the barracks as “I could only walk by shuffling my feet as I could not lift either leg to walk.”

Farrar must have worked very hard to regain his ability to walk.  He could not have known at the time that in a few months he and all the other prisoners at Stalag Luft IV would be forced to march out of the camp and begin an 86-day journey across Germany to their final liberation on May 2, 1945.  By the time of the Farrar family’s receipt of this letter on March 23, George Edwin Farrar had been marching for forty-five days.  He was not, as it seemed from his letter, sitting in a German prison camp and “feeling fine.”  He was tired and hungry to the point of starving.

This letter also indicates that by November 9, he had been told that he was the only survivor on the Lead Banana.

November 9, 1944

Kriegsgefangenenpost

Gefangenennummer 3885

Lager-Bezeichnung:  Stalag Luft 3

Postmarked January 17, 1945

Marked Received March 23, 1945

Dearest Mother:

In a few more months I should be hearing from you and it will sure be nice.  I think this is the longest I have ever gone without hearing from you.  I hope you and Dad, and the rest of the family are getting along fine.  As for myself, I am feeling fine, but miss that good cooking of yours.  I’ll really keep you busy when I get home.  I guess I have more luck than anyone to still be here, and not a thing wrong with me.  Your prayers came in good.  I still can’t believe I am alive.  They said I was the only one out of my ship that is alive.  Write often.  Love, George

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2014

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